Basil Smikle Jr. is a political consultant and policy analyst whose commentary is featured on local and national media outlets. He is a contributor to the online publication, The Hill (TheHill.com). In addition to running his consulting firm, Basil is a PhD candidate at Teachers College, Columbia University concentrating in Education and Politics where he has received multiple fellowships for his scholarly research. He holds appointments as an adjunct professor at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs and City University of New York’s Murphy Institute for Professional Studies.
Recognized as a staunch advocate for public service and education equity, he is quickly becoming part of the next generation of thinkers and policy advocates. In 2010, Basil was featured in the L.A. Times as “Harlem’s New Political Elite”. In his mid-30s, City Hall Magazine named him one of 50 rising stars in New York Politics. Newark Mayor Cory Booker called him a “much sought-after consultant”. Rev. Al Sharpton noted that Basil is an “impressive” speaker.
During a brief run for New York State Senate, Basil’s campaign gained national attention for his reforms in education and government. An early profile in the Wall Street Journal led to a feature in a New York Magazine cover story on the next generation of African American leaders. The New York Daily News endorsed Basil, calling him a “fresh thinking…school reformer”. The New York Post “enthusiastically” endorsed saying “New York needs such vibrant leadership”.
Basil was a senior aide to Hillary Rodham Clinton during her first campaign for Senate and later on her Senate staff. Mrs. Clinton called Basil a “key advisor and tremendous public servant…who makes sure all voices are heard”. Ron Kirk, the former Mayor of Dallas and President Obama’s former US Trade Representative, noted that Basil can “negotiate the politics of any community and knows how to marry it with sound public policy.”
Basil graduated with a Bachelor of Science in 1993 from Cornell University in Industrial and Labor Relations. In 1996, he received a Masters Degree in Public Policy from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs. While there, he was awarded the Columbia University Departmental Fellowship and the Public Affairs Fellowship.
A child of Jamaican immigrants, he is inspired by his father, a retired textile worker, and mother, a long-time public school special education teacher to give back to the community. Basil mentors young people in schools across this City to promote public service and education. He created a literacy program in Flushing Queens, where 5th graders are encouraged to read, write and expand their vocabulary. As a member of the community service organization 100 Black Men, Basil helped start the Eagle Academy in the Bronx, which has opened its 4th school in the tri-state area.